Advancing sustainable growth in the United States and China

Paulson Institute and CCIEE Convene Fourth Annual Cities of the Future Conference


Beijing, China—The Paulson Institute and the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) convened a panel of building code and energy efficiency experts, practitioners, and policy makers for a one-day urban sustainability seminar in Beijing at the Park Hyatt Hotel.

The seminar, titled “21st Century Buildings: Optimizing Building Performance for a Sustainable Future,” gathered leading thinkers and practitioners to explore best practices and effective methods for promoting energy-efficient buildings.

Urban sustainability is essential to China’s continued economic growth and modernization, and buildings are one of the most important factors in designing environmentally friendly cities.

The single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions globally is the energy use in buildings, which accounts for almost 40 percent of global energy emissions. Under China’s new urbanization plan, total building energy consumption, as well as commercial floor space, is expected to double through 2050. Fortunately, most of the additional energy use and emissions from buildings, between now and 2050, can be avoided at little cost. By deploying technologies and using design approaches available today, new buildings can improve energy efficiency by 30 percent or more.

At the conference, the experts stressed that China’s urban development presents one of the most significant opportunities to have a meaningful impact on global climate change in the next decade.

After remarks by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Chairman of the Paulson Institute, and Zeng Peiyan, Chairman of CCIEE, the conference hosted a CEO Roundtable, moderated by Daniel Poneman, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy, who recently joined the Paulson Institute as a Distinguished Fellow. Dave Cote, Chairman and CEO of Honeywell, Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corp., and Wang Jianqiang, Vice President of Tunghsu Group, joined the discussion about best practices in promoting and designing energy-efficient buildings.

In a keynote address, Shenzhen Mayor Xu Qin discussed his strategies for building an energy-efficient city. Mayor Xu accepted the Paulson Institute and CCIEE Prize for Cities of the Future on behalf of the Shenzhen International Low-Carbon City Project at a prize ceremony a day earlier.

Experts from the Rocky Mountain Institute and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab worked closely with the Paulson Institute and CCIEE to develop the content and topics of focus for the conference. Representatives from the private sector and leading NGOs, including China Green Building Council, China Institute of Building Environment and Energy Efficiency and the Shenzhen Institute of Building Research, participated in panel discussions that explored new approaches to energy-efficient buildings and the challenges to implementing those goals; building codes and enforcement; and how to integrate the best practices and newest technologies into an actionable plan for the future. Richard Daley, the former Mayor of Chicago, also gave a keynote speech at the luncheon, providing insights and lessons learned from promoting green building in Chicago. Hal Harvey, CEO of Energy Innovation, concluded the conference with an interactive discussion on future collaboration.

“By bringing together leading experts from China and the West, our intent is to promote innovative thought and cooperation in developing solutions that lead to greater energy efficiencies,” said Deborah Lehr, Senior Fellow of the Paulson Institute. “These efficiencies will promote cost savings, a better quality of life, and potentially set a model for other parts of China.”

Wei Jianguo, Vice Chairman of CCIEE, said, “Energy efficient buildings involve energy efficiency, the environment, and quality of life, so they are a very important component of China’s urbanization. Chinese and western experts discussed effective solutions that meet Chinese needs, which will play a positive role in promoting urban sustainability.”

Read the 21st Century Buildings: Optimizing Building Performance for a Sustainable Future Fact Sheet

About China Center for International Economic Exchanges: Founded by Zeng Peiyan, former Vice Premier of the State Council, China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) is a comprehensive association with the mission of promoting international economic research and exchanges and providing consulting service. CCIEE attracts experienced economic researchers and has close connection with economic research resources in various fields. It operates under the guidance and supervision of the National Development and Reform Commission in terms of its business scope and is registered in the Ministry of Civil Affairs. The main scope of business and services of the CCIEE is to study economic issues, to conduct economic exchanges domestically and internationally, to promote economic cooperation domestically and internationally, and to provide consulting services.

For more about CCIEE, visit: www.cciee.org.cn.